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23 March 2023

Iranian feminist activist Parvin Ardalan to give Front Line Defenders lectures at four universities

Iranian woman human rights defender, writer and academic Parvin Ardalan will be the keynote speaker at an annual series of human rights lectures hosted by Front Line Defenders in partnership with four universities in Dublin, Belfast and Galway from 29-31 March.

Her appearance comes amid a revolutionary wave of protests in Iran in recent months, following the death in custody of 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa (Jina) Amini in September 2022. Despite ongoing repression, women human rights defenders continue to demand equality, under the slogan “woman, life, freedom”.

In the lecture, “Jin Jian Azadi / Woman Life Freedom: A social vision for human dignity and human rights,” Ardalan will describe the current revolutionary moment in Iran and explore the deeper significance of the slogan popularised in the feminist protest movement.

“Given recent events in Iran, where scores of women human rights defenders have been arrested, attacked, and some even killed just for demanding their basic human rights, we are honoured to host a renowned Iranian feminist activist to give our lecture series this year,” said Olive Moore, Interim Director of Front Line Defenders.

“Parvin Ardalan was already demanding equality for Iranian women for years before the current wave of protests, at great personal cost. We hope her lecture will inform, inspire and ignite solidarity among her university audiences in Ireland.”

In 2007, Ardalan received Sweden’s prestigious Olof Palme prize for her human rights advocacy, including her role in initiating and campaigning for the grassroots movement One Million Signatures calling for equality for the Iranian women. However, she was arrested in Tehran airport when she attempted to travel to receive her prize, and was subjected to a travel ban and a suspended three-year jail sentence.

Ardalan, who is of Kurdish descent, has lived in exile since 2009 in Sweden, where she works at the Unit for Documentation and Freedom of Expression at Malmö City Archives.The lectures will be held at Queen’s University, Belfast on 29 March, University College Dublin and Trinity College on 30 March, and University of Galway on 31 March.

Further details and registration information are available at:

The Annual Front Line Defenders Lecture was established in 2013 to provoke discussion and debate about the range of issues affecting human rights defenders as they work tirelessly to bring about changes and build robust civil societies. Held in partnership with universities in Dublin, Belfast and Galway, the lecture is broadly accessible to a general audience with an interest in philosophy, law, human rights or politics.

The Annual Lecture University Partners include: UCD School of Philosophy, UCD School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe), UCD Centre for Human Rights, Trinity College Dublin, University of Galway’s Irish Centre For Human Rights & Queens University Belfast Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

About Front Line Defenders: Front Line Defenders is an international human rights organisation founded in Dublin in 2001, with the specific aim of protecting human rights defenders at risk (HRDs). Front Line Defenders works to improve the security and protection of human rights defenders and organisations around the world at risk for their peaceful and legitimate human rights work. As identified by human rights defenders themselves, the organisation responds to protection and security needs by providing support through grants, capacity building, visibility, networking, and advocacy, at the international, regional and local levels. Front Line Defenders was awarded the 2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize.